Everton defeat is a ‘wake-up’ to United

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If results had gone their way, United would have risen to second in the Premier League at the weekend, but now they are looking over their shoulders after dropping to fourth.

United have lost successive games for the first time under Louis van Gaal and they will be just four points ahead of Liverpool in fifth if Brendan Rodgers' side win their match in hand at Hull tonight.

Smalling agreed with Van Gaal's assessment that United lacked aggression from the first whistle and he wants a response from his team-mates when West Bromwich Albion come to Old Trafford.

“This is a massive wake-up call for us,” the United defender said. “Right from the first minute we were off the pace and they had a pressure that we usually have.

“We haven't been the second-best team in games this season, even when we've lost, we've always had that aggression and those tackles, but on Sunday we were far from it. I think we'll see a different Manchester United next Saturday against West Brom. We'll make sure we learn from this, the fans deserve a lot better.”

United's chances of making the top four would decrease if Wayne Rooney were ruled out for part of the run-in. The United captain was replaced by Robin van Persie at Goodison Park in the 88th minute after suffering a kick to the knee. However, the club's medical staff were happy to allow Rooney to travel to London on Sunday night for the Professional Footballers' Association Awards.

United, meanwhile, will today announce the final details of their pre-season tour of the United States. For the second year running, they will play in the International Champions Cup - a 10-team tournament involving United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Porto, Paris Saint-Germain, Fiorentina, the Los Angeles Galaxy, the New York Red Bulls, Club America and the San Jose Earthquakes.– The Independent

Original source: Everton defeat is a ‘wake-up’ to United

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